Surfing in Japan

Are you looking for adventurous water activities? There are plenty of interesting and exciting water activities to enjoy in Japan. As it is surrounded by ocean and lined with 32,000 rivers, streams and lakes, this island nation offers challenging activities to indulge.

You may think surfing and Japan are a bit like chalk and cheese, however, one visit during September will make any surfer realize that the two go together like a hot summer night and a cold Asahi!

As a holiday destination, Japan takes some beating. Contrasts abound and visitors will certainly feel enriched on all levels. Ancient temples and tranquil shrines lull them into stillness and contemplation, only for the famed ski-slopes to let them cut loose at high speeds. The wealth of fine cuisine ensures that the taste buds don’t feel left out!

On top of all that, there is another thing that makes my feet itch to return, “My desire to surf Japan”, the big swells of the typhoon season.

It is the combination of the usual Japanese draw cards and the surprisingly world-class waves that make it so alluring for a surf adventure. Many other surf destinations have been homogenized; the surf camps, boat charters, and banana pancakes, look and taste the same worldwide. Japan serves up some refreshing new flavors, especially in the rural ‘inaka’.

An unchanged culture is on display all day every day. It is there as you negotiate a maze of rice paddies to get to a secret surf spot, and it is there as the bemused ‘Oba-chans’ (Grandmas) stop work to stare at you – the “lost” foreigners with funny planks on the roof.

A blissful feeling arises when you are immersed in this slower side of the Japanese culture. You feel as if you have leapt back in time to a land still ruled by feudal lords and Samurai swords. To expose your senses to such a unique experience and at the same time indulge in a lifetime passion like surfing is truly something you never forget.

So, how are the waves?

I won’t go into too much detail here, but with many of the southern coastlines facing directly into ‘typhoon alley’, you can bet on some sumo sized swells rolling into the many reef, point, and beach breaks.

Like many surfers, I have chased my wave habit all over the world, always bringing my wetsuit and my Surf Jimmy (, but when I reminisce on epic sessions past, it’s the visions of South Japan that drift through my mind. It can really turn on.

At the end of the day it’s the adventure that matters. Embarking on a journey into the orient, surf board under arm, who knows what you will find…


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